Title: Sonam and the Silence
Author: Eddie Ayres
Illustrator: Ronak Taher
Published: August 2018
Publisher: Allen and Unwin
RRP: $24.99 AUD
I received a copy of Sonam and the Silence from the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
A haunting fable-like story by the well-known musician and author, Eddie Ayres, about the power of music and a young girl in Kabul set during the occupation of the Taliban
A lyrical fable-like story by the well-known musician, author and broadcaster Eddie Ayres, about the irrepressible power of music.
It’s hard to know where to start when talking about Sonam and the Silence. It’s a beautifully illustrated, haunting story of a young girl living in Afghanistan in a time when all music has been banned. Sonam lives in a world of silence until she comes across the most beautiful sound she’s ever heard coming from a garden. There, she learns of music and the power it has to transform her world.
I love picture books, and I especially love picture books that tackle topics that adults might not believe younger readers would be interested in. Wearing my teacher hat, Sonam and the Silence would be such a wonderful text to read and unpack in a classroom with students. It’s a great jumping off point for discussions on geography, history and the lives of children in other parts of the world.
Eddie Ayres has done a wonderful job with the story, too, weaving history into a story without making it feel like a lesson. It’s clear that he has a passion for not only music, but also Afghanistan and the children there who are learning music in a place where once they might not have had that opportunity.
Beyond that, it’s also a beautifully produced book. The look and feel of the hardcover book is just exquisite and invites the reader in to uncover the secrets of the story inside.
This is a story about the power of music and the hope that it can bring, especially when that hope is carried with the resilience of a young child. I gave Sonam and the Silence 4 out of 5 stars.